Summer is a time with many graduation parties, weddings, barbecues, picnics, and many other special events. It is a time meant for celebration; however, it is still wise to keep your health a priority. Sometimes with diabetes, it can be difficult to know what to do at these parties to balance enjoying yourself and keeping your blood sugars stable. Here are seven tips to keep in mind this summer:

1. Take your insulin as prescribed.

If you use a sliding scale, be sure to familiarize yourself with party foods in order to properly dose yourself. If you are unsure, bring a carb counting book with you for reference.

2. Don’t skip meals

If you skip meals in preparation for a party you are at risk for blood sugar spikes and drops. Eat a snack with protein and fiber before you attend a party to avoid overindulging.

3. Look at the entire table before putting food on your plate

Make mindful choices and try to choose vegetable or fruit based dishes for at least half your plate.

4. Practice Portion Control

Use a smaller plate if it’s available to help control how much food you take. Before going for seconds, sit and chat with friends or family and give yourself a chance to decide if you are actually still hungry or can do without that second plate.  Also, avoid socializing near the food and grazing out of the serving dishes.

5. Bring a healthy dish

If you are joining a potluck, bring a salad or fruit so that you know you have at least one option that is guilt free.

6.  Exercise before the party

Physical activity helps maintain stable blood sugars and may curb your appetite away from foods that are less nutritious.

7. Finally, enjoy yourself!

If you have a “bad day” and overindulge, don’t let your guilt overcome you. Get back on track the next day and make it a point to stay active and skip extra treats in the following days.

About the Author

Laura Beechnau, Registered Dietitian is the AgeWell Services Mission Services Director.

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